High School
Summer Institute

About HSSI

Columbia College’s High School Summer Institute offers college level courses that are specifically tailored for high school students interested in exploring and expanding their ideas and skills in the arts and communications. Admission to the High School Summer Institute is open to students who will have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year in 2014 and have not yet matriculated to college.

High School Summer Institute classes will run from July 7, 2014, to July 25, 2014.

Courses Earn College Credit

Credits earned through the High School Summer Institute are applied as elective credits at Columbia College Chicago. HSSI courses are counted toward general electives and do not take the place of any required major courses at Columbia College Chicago. Students may transfer HSSI credit to another college or university at the sole discretion of that institution.

Course Structure

Courses offered through High School Summer Institute meet five days a week, Monday through Friday. 3 credit hour classes meet for 3 hours a day—from either 9 AM to 12 PM or 1 PM to 4 PM. 6 credit hour classes meet 6 hours a day—from 9 AM to 4 PM, with an hour break for lunch at 12 PM. (Please note: Except for students living in on-campus housing during HSSI, lunch is not provided by the program, so students should plan to either bring a packed lunch or to budget for eating in a neighborhood restaurant).

HSSI Grades

The grades you earn through the High School Summer Institute are important because they become part of your permanent college record. We encourage you to take your classes seriously. Your admittance to college and even financial aid at your future college may be influenced by a failing grade. Your participation in class, your effort and diligence in completing all assignments, and, of course, your attendance may affect your final grade in the program. Final grades will be posted online to your Oasis account two weeks after the completion of the program.

Special note to parents: The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student academic records. Under the act, personally identifiable information about a student cannot be released without the student’s express written permission. Any student attending a post-secondary school, regardless of age, is protected by FERPA. High School Summer Institute students, by virtue of their attendance at Columbia College Chicago, are covered by the Act and their grades and other confidential information cannot be released to any third party, including a parent.

Application & Registration

There is only one way to apply and register for the High School Summer Institute—ONLINE!

Admissions application deadline is June 20, 2014. The registration deadline is June 27, 2014. Registration is completed online. Please note that full payment is expected at the time of registration to ensure placement in classes. Students who have not made full payment within five business days of registering for HSSI classes may be dropped from those classes.

Class Cancellation

Every year, a small number of courses must be cancelled due to low enrollment. Should such cancellations occur, students affected by such changes or cancellations will be notified by June 6. 2014. Students may then opt to be placed in available spaces in courses that suit their interests or request a full refund of their tuition and housing fees.


The 2014 tuition is $425 per credit hour: $1275 for each course earning three credits, $2550 for each course earning six credits. Some classes require students to pay an additional course fee or to purchase supplies or books for an additional fee.

If your plans for the summer change and you will not be able to attend HSSI, you will need to withdraw from your classes. For a full schedule of withdrawal and refund deadlines, see “Withdrawl and Refund Deadlines” under Important Dates. 


Housing Orientation will be Sunday, July 6th at 5 PM in Plymouth Court. Parents are urged to attend.

Most students who participate in HSSI commute to campus from their homes in the Chicagoland area, but we are able to offer a limited number of spaces in on-campus housing for students who live outside of a commutable distance from Columbia’s campus. Students intending to live in Columbia’s housing must be at least 16 years of age at the time the housing move-in on July 6th.

Housing is offered through Columbia’s premier residence center, Plymouth Court. Rooms for HSSI are clustered together, and students are expected to dine together for evening meals at the University Center, another campus residence center just a short walk away. HSSI students are supervised by Columbia College Chicago Residence Assistants (R.A.’s), who provide support and guidance through the summer living experience.

High school students who wish to live on campus must enroll in 6 credit hours—either by registering for one full day course (6 credit hours) or two half day courses (3 credit hours each). Students who choose to live on campus are expected to demonstrate maturity and commitment to the educational process and required to observe all rules and directives associated with the living community. Housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis until all available spaces are filled. Because housing is limited, early application is encouraged.

Full instructions for obtaining on-campus housing for the HSSI program will be communicated to students who have selected to live in on-campus housing. Housing Orientation will be held prior to the general HSSI Orientation for students living in on-campus housing.

The cost of housing is $1,500.00. This fee includes a meal plan of 15 meals per week + $20.00 in flex money to be used at the students discretion at the University Center cafeteria, and a variety of mandatory evening and weekend activities.

International Students

International students are welcome to apply for the High School Summer Institute. Additional requirements for non US students include:

  • Proof of English Proficiency
    • You have attended school at the secondary level (high school) for at least three years full-time where the language of instruction is English
    • You live in a country where English is the primary language
    • TOEFL score of 80 iBT
    • IELTS of 6.5
  • Visa
    • F-1 – we have not yet been approved to issue a SEVIS I-20 for the HSSI so students requiring an F-1 (student visa) are not eligible to apply at this time. We hope to have this approved within the next few months, please check the website for updates
    • Student may attend on a tourist visa (B1/B2) or ESTA
  • Insurance
    • Students must submit proof of international insurance coverage
  • Immunizations
    • Students must submit proof of immunizations

International student airport pick-ups can be arranged by Columbia College Chicago. A parents information session will be available during the program orientation.